ADVTNGO – based on a report by Euronews, United Nations’ top court ordered Myanmar to take all measures to prevent genocide against the Rohingya people.
The court’s president, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said the 600,000 Rohingya inside Myanmar “remain extremely vulnerable.”
The New York-based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect called Thursday’s judgement “inspirational and historic.”
Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch, called it a “landmark step to stop further atrocities against one of the world’s most persecuted people.”
“Concerned governments and UN bodies should now weigh in to ensure that the order is enforced as the genocide case moves forward,” she said. “The ICJ order brings increased scrutiny of Myanmar’s horrific brutality against the Rohingya and raises the political cost of the UN Security Council’s weak response to the crisis so far.”
Tun Khin, president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK and a genocide survivor, said the court decision was a “great milestone.”
“Lives are still at risk because genocide is ongoing,” he told Euronews before the announcement. “The international community has to step up and put stronger pressure on Myanmar and monitor what is going on against Rohingya people.”
The court’s order came in a case brought by the African nation of Gambia on behalf of an organisation of Muslim nations that accuses Myanmar of genocide.
In August 2017, Myanmar’s military launched what it called a clearance campaign in northern Rakhine state in response to an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group. The campaign forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh and led to accusations that security forces committed mass rapes, killings and burned thousands of homes.
Suu Kyi told world court judges in December that the exodus was a tragic consequence of the military’s response to “coordinated and comprehensive armed attacks” by Rohingya insurgents.
The world court’s orders are legally binding but it relies on the United Nations to add political pressure, if necessary, to enforce them.
The court is expected to take years to issue a final ruling on genocide in the case.